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CollecTons Keepers #4: 1970-S Lincoln Memorial Cent SMALL DATE Certified in Exclusive ANACS Brilliant Uncirculated Holder

Item # IT063861
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We are excited to release the fourth coin in the CollecTons Keepers program, an exclusive series only offered by CollecTons.  The fourth coin we present, CollecTons Keepers #4 in Series, features the rare 1970-S Lincoln Memorial Cent Small Date High 7 Variety.

Why is the 1970-S Lincoln Memorial Cent Small Date a Coin Worth Keeping?

This 1970-S Lincoln Memorial Cent is a rare Small Date variety specimen.  This variety came about due to the San Francisco Mint using two different dies to produce the cents in 1970.  Large Date varieties also exist for this year.  There is no record of when or why this change in die design occurred. It is speculated that both dies were used starting at the beginning of the year.  It is known that the Small Date is much scarcer than the Large Date.  Throughout US coin minting history there have been several examples of die changes made to alter the size of the date.  There are two main reasons why the Mint would have decided to change the date size.  The first reason is aesthetics.  The second and more probable reason is to improve die life and production quality.

How can you tell the difference between a Large Date and a Small Date 1970-S Lincoln Cent?  The differences between the two are very minor and sometimes difficult to pick out.  According to the book 100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins *, there are attribution clues that make it possible to identify the two varieties with accuracy:

  • First, look at the position of the 7.  On the Small Date, the 7 is aligned with the tops of the 9 and 0.  On the Large Date, the 7 is lower than the tops of the 9 and 0. This is also why the 1970-S Small Date is referred to as a "High 7".
  • Next, look at the word LIBERTY. On the Small Date, the word LIBERTY is usually unclear and muffled.  On the Large Date, LIBERTY is crisp and clear.
1970-S Small Date vs Large Date

Out of the three mints that produced the Lincoln Memorial Cent in 1970, San Francisco produced the least.  There were a total of 690,560,004 minted in San Francisco that year.  The Mint kept no records of the individual mintages of the Small and Large Date varieties. The first finds of these varieties were reported early in the year.  There was some initial confusion among the numismatic community regarding these varieties.  The Small and Large Date distinctions were not as clear as earlier year varieties such as the 1960 Lincoln Cent.  Some numismatists considered the Small Date a result of simple die polishing and not a separate die.  There were even specialists in the error / variety field that turned people away from collecting it as a legitimate variety.

Today, the 1970-S Small Date is still a highly sought after modern rarity due to the unknown mintage and high demands.  It is a Key Date coin and an essential piece to any Lincoln Memorial Cent set.

Coin Specifications

  • Year: 1970
  • Mint: San Francisco
  • Mintage: unknown
  • Designers: Victor David Brenner (obverse), Frank Gasparro (reverse)
  • Composition: 95% copper, 5% tin and zinc
  • Weight: 3.11 grams
  • Diameter: 19mm
  • Edge: Plain

What makes the Collectons Keepers program special?

Here at CollecTons, we work hard researching coins that should be part of every collection. Our goal is to utilize our knowledge in the numismatic industry to select coins worthy of being in everyone's collection! Therefore, the CollecTons Keepers program will only feature those Coins Worth Keeping.

Each coin is hand selected and given to ANACS (America's Oldest Grading Service) for grading and authentication. The coins are then sealed in an ANACS certified proprietary slab holder for long-term storage, with our limited edition label marking it a CollecTons Keeper.

Collect one or collect the entire series!
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